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Detox and Rehab

by Beth Aileen Lameman

What is detox and rehab? Detox describes the cleansing that happens to your body when you stop an addiction or compulsion. The best way to successfully detox is to join a Rehab program, which is usually done in a rehabilitation or treatment center.

  • Your experience will vary from program to program, whether it’s with a counselor in individual meetings a few times a week, a program with long meeting hours several times a week, or a live-in treatment center that has a rehab program and/or a medical detox center.

  • At live-in treatment centers, you have a structured schedule that is prepared for you. Typically basic activities will include eating, going to lectures, discussing in group meetings, meeting counselors individually or reflecting on your addiction or compulsion.

  • Some treatment centers are also medical detox centers, which are more like hospitals and provide services to help you in the detox process.

What are alternative rehab programs?

  • There are some special programs that have high rates of success because of their unique perspectives and strategies for recovery.

  • For example, Poundmaker’s Lodge Treatment Centre, an addiction treatment centre near Edmonton, Alberta, treats people of all backgrounds using the cultural and spiritual beliefs of traditional First Nations peoples in combination with a 12-Step, abstinence-based recovery. Their treatment is holistic and focuses on the causes of addiction to empower you in recovery.

How long do I have to stay in rehab?

  • Since there are many forms of rehab, you’ll need to find a treatment program that works for you. The length of time varies.

  • If your problem is less severe, you might be able to recover by seeking counseling a few times a week.

  • If you have a moderate addiction or compulsion, you may need a program that is several hours long, several days a week.

  • If you are dependent on your addiction or compulsion, you should stay at a live-in treatment center where you will be in a safe environment to undergo detox.

  • In all cases, treatment should last at least one year. This doesn’t mean you need to stay in a treatment center that long, just that you should keep in touch with treatment resources during that time.

  • Overall, rehabilitation is a life-long process and meetings or group gatherings can be a helpful resource to keep you addiction or compulsion-free over time.


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